With all of the talk leading up to yesterday’s match focused upon whether Roy Hodgson should persevere with Wayne Rooney, the pressure was on for the 28 year old to deliver. After spurning a glorious opportunity in the first half, the Manchester United forward delivered the perfect riposte to his critics by grabbing the equaliser, his FIRST ever goal at a World Cup.
However, Rooney’s strike was not enough to prevent the Three Lions slipping to a second consecutive defeat. The brace from Luis Suarez leaves England’s hopes of qualifying hanging by a thread as Hodgson’s men now have to rely upon Italy to emerge victorious in both of their remaining fixtures.
Moved to his preferred central role, many fans commended Rooney for delivering an improved performance to his showing in Manaus.
Although I’m Scottish, I must say all credit to @WayneRooney tonight, amidst all the hate he stepped up and gave England a chance!
— Jonathan Andrew (@JonathanJAndrew) June 19, 2014
— Davey Dug (@D_The_Obscure) June 19, 2014
Fair play to @WayneRooney! Never gave in, well deserved goal!
— Steve Park (@StevePark456) June 19, 2014
I will have an argument with anyone about this – @WayneRooney was our best player, the only player apart from subs to give it all!!
— Sam Mantom (@SMant27) June 19, 2014
Not a lot to be proud of as an Englishman abroad tonight, but @WayneRooney the exception. After all the stick, good to see him play so well.
— Andy Cooper (@DevonLifeEd) June 19, 2014
Honestly now, I’m starting to feel for @WayneRooney – how can it be his fault when another defensively inept display has cost us?
— Dick Lips (@BillyHewittx) June 19, 2014
How people are STILL finding ways to criticise Wayne Rooney’s performance is beyond me.
— Ifemi Johnson (@ifemijohnson) June 19, 2014
But in a team display characterised by nervousness and defensive weakness, some supporters still argued that the 28 year old had failed to deliver once again.
If anyone has the temerity to say Wayne Rooney is ‘world class’ they are an absolute joke. Apart from 1 tap-in, he is an utter bottle job,
— Ryan Smith (@hazycozmicjazz) June 19, 2014
And the media will get off Rooney’s back for scoring that goal but he was non-existent yet again. The problems? Hodgson and him.
— Jack Sear (@JackSear) June 19, 2014
Wayne Rooney….get in the gym…no heart or balls…sorry…too much money to perform like that.
— Andy McKenzie (@IronMacFitness) June 19, 2014
Rooney has still been poor, just because he scored a tap in doesn’t mean he deserves the Ballon D’Or
— Joe C (@JoeC_97) June 19, 2014
Does Rooney actually know how to play football, he is always so poor playing for his country! #EnglandvsUruguay
— Kate Hadley (@KateHadley1) June 19, 2014
Rooney. Poor. Again
— Wealdstone FC (@Pressoffwfc) June 19, 2014
Despite having a goal and an assist from two matches, there are clearly those that feel we should expect more from Rooney. But is the forward just a convenient scapegoat for England’s current woes?